This image from the Library of Congress titled, “War views. No. 1501, Camp life, Army of the Potomac – writing to friends at home” shows a soldier in the foreground doing some mending.
This is a patriotic Confederate housewife with three different Confederate flags.
Someone certainly put a lot of love into this one. The roll at the end was stuffed to use for a pin cushion.
Housewifes were sewing kits for Civil War soldiers. They normally carried one uniform and if they were lucky, two. They uniforms saw heavy wear and needed constant repair so the men learned how to sew.
Most were made by the women of the family, mothers, wives, sisters, sweethearts and sometimes patriotic women made up the kits for deploying soldiers. They made them from rectangular scraps of fabric or leather that could be easily folded up and secured with a ribbon. Inside were needles, thread (usually black, white, and navy), buttons, small pieces of fabric to use for patching, a small pair of scissors, perhaps a thimble. Some included a darning egg of some sort. If a soldier was very lucky, his loved one might include a lock of hair to remember her by.